On the edge of the earth where skies are always clear. Kind of looking exactly like cordon, On the mountain there stood an awful building, From a distance it looked like the UN. Everything glows there like lightning, Such great beauty everywhere. Only a very charming princess Is imprisoned in that place. And Kashchey, an immortal and rude animal, Hired the dragon to guard the castle every night. Hut maybe that miserly, wicked creature Was unhappy and meek in his own way. From homesickness the dragon is in tears, Wants to see his mother, too. I his creature has seven big heads, And some fifteen awful eyes. And Kashchey himself could have fought earlier, But from his love for princess, he became weak, And in his own way he became an unhappy old man, But the dragon didnít let him see the girl. Hey, let me go through, you monster! I am quivering from passion..." "You can even fire me, old bastard, I will never let you through." A very kind youth Ivan once decided to go there. He was not afraid of Kashcheys and dragons too. He only craved for adventures and he was brave, But in his own way, he was an unhappy fool. Whether the heron began laughing Whether the owl stuttered on a tree, Ivanís soul became so lonely, He was miserable and sad. And in vain his daring feats began, Showdowns with witches and with elfs. You see, in a way, this place is unhappy, This so called "forest poverty," my friend. He knocked out so many witches, Two young ones in juice. He saw it in the morning and he cried - The Fool had pity, a poor fool. But he still got to where he wanted, He overcame his sleepy condition soon. In the corner lay an unhappy animal, With its head in the fountain - from heat. So, Ivan jumps up to it quickly, Chopping off the monsterís heads, And approaches the mad, evil Kashchey, Waving with his magic sword. And he threatens the two thousand year old man. "Right now Iíll cut your beard off. So, just die, decay, Kashchey!" And he answers him: "Iím happy to, but Iím immortal. I canít!" But Ivan is raging greatly. "Ah, you damned manufacturer! Look how many rooms youíve built?! Hid the woman, you intriguer! "I will finish my work, taking the liability." And from all those uncommon words, Kashchey himself died without an interference... He was illiterate, a backward Kashchey. And Ivan, red from anger, Pushed Kashcheys body aside, And entered the chamber, Where the unhappy princess lived.
© Nathan Mer. Translation, 1991